There is a lot of fish in the ocean! There are also mammals, reptiles, plants, algae, etc. In this new blog post, we are going to focus on the “slower” reptiles that live in the sea. Guess which ones? Turtles, marine turtles. We are also going to tell you about our experience working with one of the institutions dedicated to protecting and studying the oceans in Guatemala, Central America.
Turtles are considered “slow” within the collective imagination (and maybe because of the famous fable “the tortoise and the hare”). However, this idea applies more to land turtles (tortoises) and not that much to sea turtles. When they are in the water, they can reach an average speed of 30 kilometers per hour swimming (as read on the https://animalear.com/ website). Only when they go out to the beach, sea turtles are somewhat slow, since they are gestating and carrying their heavy and beautiful shell.
Sea turtles are animals that live most of their lives in continental waters. However, at one time in their life cycle (when they reproduce) they must visit dry land to build their nests and lay their eggs. In Guatemala, we are fortunate to witness this nesting behavior on the beaches of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. That means we also have the joy of witnessing the hatching of dozens of baby turtles at least once a year.
According to the data published by CONAP (the Guatemalan agency in charge of managing protected natural areas and the resources that inhabit each one -Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas) there are six species of turtles (out of eight) that come to these beaches. According to one of the goals at MayanToons, we have created educational material for you to learn a little more about these turtles, which are:
- Carey, Eretmochelys imbricata
- Cabezona, Caretta caretta
- Verde o Negra del Pacífico, Chelonia mydas agassizii
- Parlama, Lepidochelys olivacea
- Baule, Dermochelys coriacea
- Verde, Chelonia mydas
- Tortuga lora, Lepidochelys kempii
Our illustrators have made coloring illustrations of some of these species of turtles. You can download this material at no cost from our partner’s page: https://semillasdeloceano.org/material-educativo/
The MayanToons team has had the opportunity to make this material together with Semillas del Océano (SDO), a non-profit organization working for the conservation, research, and efficient use of the marine-coastal ecosystems of the country. www.semillasdeloceano.org has a team of experts both in marine animals, such as marine ecology, fishing, and aquaculture. A couple of years ago we joined an initiative of SDO visiting the family walk (“Pasos y Pedales”, on Avenida de las Américas, very close to La Aurora International Airport) every Sunday to entertain the children and share information valuable on turtles and other marine animals.
Thanks to SDO’s initiative, many more people have gotten these coloring sheets, attended beach and river cleanups, drawing contests, and learned a little more about the wealth found in the ocean.
Download the coloring sheets, print them out and share them with your family and friends. Stay tuned for our future blog posts until next time!